Delta Expanding In Iceland This Summer

Filed Under: Delta

Iceland is the first place in Europe to welcome vaccinated Americans, as well as those who have recovered from coronavirus. Delta is capitalizing on that, with three different routes to the country.

Delta’s service to Iceland in 2021

This summer, Delta will be operating three routes to Iceland. The airline will be bringing back its seasonal routes out of Minneapolis and New York, and will also be introducing a new service to Iceland out of Boston.

As Joe Esposito, Delta’s SVP of Network Planning, describes this new route:

“We know our customers are eager to safely get back out into the world, including exploring one of the globe’s most beautiful outdoor destinations. As confidence in travel rises, we hope more countries continue reopening to vaccinated travelers, which mean more opportunities to reconnect customers to the people and places that matter most.”

Let’s take a look at the details.

Delta’s Boston to Keflavik route

As of May 20, 2021, Delta will launch a new daily service between Boston and Iceland:

DL266 Boston to Keflavik departing 10:25PM arriving 7:45AM (+1 day)
DL267 Keflavik to Boston departing 10:15AM arriving 12:00PM

The route will be operated by a domestically configured Boeing 757-200, featuring 193 seats. The first class cabin will be sold as Premium Select (the name of Delta’s premium economy product), and then there will be Comfort+ and Main Cabin as well.

The type of seat Delta is selling as Premium Select

Delta’s Minneapolis to Keflavik route

As of May 27, 2021, Delta will resume its daily seasonal service between Minneapolis and Iceland:

DL260 Minneapolis to Keflavik departing 8:45PM arriving 7:55AM (+1 day)
DL261 Keflavik to Minneapolis departing 9:30AM arriving 11:00AM

The route will be operated by a domestically configured Boeing 757-200, featuring 193 seats. The first class cabin will be sold as Premium Select (the name of Delta’s premium economy product), and then there will be Comfort+ and Main Cabin as well.

Delta’s New York to Keflavik route

As of May 1, 2021, Delta will resume its daily seasonal service between New York and Iceland:

DL246 New York JFK to Keflavik departing 10:15PM arriving 8:05AM (+1 day)
DL247 Keflavik to New York JFK departing 11:15AM arriving 1:15PM

The route will be operated by an internationally configured Boeing 757-200, featuring 168 seats. This includes fully flat seats in Delta One, and then there will be Comfort+ and Main Cabin as well. As you can see, this will be Delta’s only route to Iceland featuring flat beds.

Delta One on the Boeing 757-200

Iceland expansion makes sense

Ultimately airline route planning has become a totally different game in the past year due to the pandemic, and airlines are adapting as much as they can. The European Union is far from a sure bet for Americans this summer, and Iceland is so far the only European country that has opened to vaccinated Americans so far this year.

So it’s not surprising to see Delta adding more capacity. Interestingly Delta is really an outlier here as far as US carriers go — United is operating a single daily seasonal route between Newark and Keflavik with a 757, while American has canceled its seasonal service to Keflavik (which in the past has been operated out of Dallas or Philadelphia).

United is the only other US airline flying to Iceland this summer

Personally I’d be surprised if we don’t see some additional capacity to Iceland from American and/or United. You’d think this would be a good time for that WOW Air relaunch to happen, but there has been radio silence from the West Virginia-based cargo airline for all of 2021.

A WOW Air relaunch is supposed to happen eventually… maybe…

Bottom line

Delta will be operating three routes to Iceland this summer, including the return of routes from Minneapolis and New York, and a new route out of Boston. All the routes will be operated by 757s — two routes will have domestically configured 757s, while one route will have an internationally configured 757.

Ultimately this expansion in Iceland makes perfect sense — most of Europe is still off limits to Americans, while Iceland is open to those who are vaccinated, as well as those who have tested positive for coronavirus in the past.

Anyone planning a trip to Iceland this summer?

  1. What is Delta going to replace their 757’s with??

    I feel its odd they don’t have any of the a321LR or XLR on order.

  2. Pricing (both cash and miles) look pretty high from JFK in Delta One. Ben and readers, do you think a flat bed is worth it on a 5 hour and 41 minute flight? May make more sense to gut it out in Comfort Plus…

    When is the Edition opening again?

  3. @Sharon A321neo. Iceland is only like 4 hours from the US which the A321neo can definitely do. It won’t be able to reach continental Europe, but for transcons and Iceland flights a regular A321neo should suffice.

  4. @Anthony if you can only sleep on a flat bed, and you want to sleep on the overnight flight, then it might be worth it.

    If you are fine sleeping in a regular seat, or not sleeping at all, then I’d stick with Comfort+.

    I don’t think any kind of food or amenities or service is worth that much on a short red-eye.

  5. Delta has a 767-300ER loaded into the schedule for the JFK-KEF flight, so there will be more flat beds on this route.

  6. @Anthony the new flights don’t appear to be loaded, so I am guessing there will be changes tomorrow with “schedule change Saturday.” Re D1: it depends where you are coming from. I would be flying from SEA, so at least on the way there, potentially I could have D1 on both flights, which would be 11-12 hours in a lie flat seat, not 6.

    Last week I bought (with miles) tickets for June. Currently the JFK-KEF flight has a 767-300, and the flight back from KEF-MSP is scheduled on an internationally configured 757 (with D1 lie flats). I am guessing those will change tomorrow. Compared to the aircraft currently loaded for these routes, this would significantly increase overall capacity, while sharply cutting lie flat D1 capacity and reducing capacity out of JFK.

  7. Wish they were flying DeltaOne equipped plans from ATL or MSP instead. A longer flight would make for a much better experience. We did the BOS:KEF route on Delta in domestic First class seats (back then Delta was selling as DeltaOne, I complained and received a refund to take it down to C+ pricing) and between meals you really only get 2-2.5 hours of sleep. Even if you eat on the ground and skip breakfast it’s awfully tough to sleep with meal service happening and cabin lights on for half the flight duration.

    I would not bother for DeltaOne as you are guaranteed to not get enough sleep to be meaningful unless you’re one of those lucky few that do well on a couple hours a night.

  8. The Reykjanes Peninsula has recently seen significant increase in seismic and volcanic activity, which could quickly upend any plans to travel to the island.

  9. @ Anthony — We did Icelandair “Saga Class” (their old recliner-style business class) from Seattle to Reykjavik last winter, which is a slightly longer flight. Our tickets were cheap, but given the length and timing of the flight, all agreed we would have been just as happy in premium economy, as there isn’t much opportunity to sleep regardless. Probably not a route where I personally could justify a 5x+ price premium, if that helps at all.

  10. Hope that Premium Select customers will get access to Saga Lounge. Atleast as of right now, even D1 doesn’t get any access at all.

  11. Terrible timings. All of these could be eastbound daytime flights, and evening westbound flights.

    The flight is too short to be proper redeye.

    Yeah, Delta probably wants connecting traffic but that short redeye to Iceland is brutal. I would much rather go on a daytime flight and have a good sleep after arrival, then ready to start my vacation well rested instead of as a zombie.

  12. Sharon

    Some of us love the 757.

    Could this be a back door route into Europe to bypass some of is more severe Covid restrictions

  13. This would be a much more useful post if you would outline the best ways to book these Delta flights with points/miles.

  14. Instead of worrying about Iceland, too bad they don’t bring back the non-stop from Prague to JFK that got cancelled because of Corona. !!

  15. Delta adds a few Alaska flights & 2 Iceland flights = 2 articles.

    American massively expands at AUS & UA adds tons of flights to non-hub cities = 0 articles.


  16. Does anyone know–are there any other Schengen countries from which one can enter, from Iceland, without having to go through passport control? Prior to the pandemic, because Iceland was part of Schengen, one could always do this. However; I wanted to learn whether this is still the case.

  17. @guflyer – As far as I know, there are border checks everywhere now. If you want to travel to other Schengen countries they would check your passport stamp, and for those countries allowing non-EU/EEA citizens it normally requires at least a 14 day stay in Iceland beforehand. You will likely be either denied boarding, caught at the other end and returned and possibly liable to fines and/prosecution.

  18. For future articles on new routes, could you add the total flight time for each of the flight segments. This information would be very helpful. Thank you.

  19. @ Ben:

    Hi, did you at some point announce a major drive into Iceland by AA ? It was a few montrhs ago, I believe. If not you, then it came from AA themselves.

    At any rate, it seems to have petered-out. The only connections to Iceland this summer on the AA site are via LHR, then BA, I suppose? Expensive and endless.

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